A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Early Pacific Islanders Enjoyed Wild Foods

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Lapita Skeletons DietDUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND—A study of the isotope ratios in the skeletons of Lapita people who lived on Vanuatu’s Efate Island some 3,000 years ago suggests that they relied on reef fish, marine turtles, fruit bats, and “free-range pigs and chickens,” for their food rather than on cultivated crops. Rebecca Kinaston of the University of Otago told Z News that as they moved eastward across the Pacific, the Lapita foraged for wild food to supplement whatever horticultural food they produced.